NJ DCF Announces $9 Million in Emergency Funding for Congregate Care Providers
Funding Will Offset Additional Costs Associated with Residential Care during COVID-19 Pandemic
TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Children and Families announced today the release of $9 million in emergency funding for providers of children’s residential treatment, and shelter services for children and families. These services comprise a critical portion of the NJ DCF network of support for children with behavioral and developmental needs, survivors of domestic violence, parents seeking help with substance use disorder, and adolescents transitioning out of foster care to independent living.
In order to manage the health and life safety of residents, providers have incurred additional costs, including additional staffing costs related to increased child supervision during daytime shifts, the purchase and distribution of Personal Protective Equipment to staff, and heightened cleaning and sanitization of facilities. These emergency funds will be used to offset those additional costs of care.
“Our congregate care residential service providers are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 Emergency, providing necessary treatment and care for children, youth, and families throughout New Jersey,” said NJ DCF Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer. “As a result of the pandemic, they have had to adapt their operations, adopt social distancing practices, and incur increased costs to support the health and evolving needs of residents. These emergency funds, will help to offset some of the additional costs they’ve experienced as a result of COVID-19, and ensure the stability of the child and family services system moving forward.”
The $9 million in funding will be made available to provide emergency assistance to congregate care program providers for domestic violence shelters, family shelters, supervised transitional living programs, group homes, Mommy and Me residential substance use disorder treatment, and child/youth out of home treatment programs to help providers meet some of the costs associated with treatment, shelter and care during the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. Emergency assistance will be allocated on a per-bed basis.
The emergency funding represents only a portion of assistance available to providers to offset increased costs of care. NJ DCF, in consultation with the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is also preparing information to be distributed to congregate care residential service providers regarding financial relief available to non-profit providers through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“This is an unprecedented time for our state and the rest of the world, and we are so thankful for the partnership offered by the residential treatment and shelter services programs that work diligently to keep New Jersey safe, healthy and connected,” said Commissioner Beyer. “The challenges brought on by COVID-19 have resulted in significant changes to the ways in which we support children and families at this time. NJ DCF is proud to stand by our congregate care partners and to support their efforts to ensure program residents’ safety during this emergency.”